Twelve of the University’s very best teaching talents have been honoured at the annual Pilkington Prizes awards ceremony.

This year, prizes have gone to individuals who have pioneered new methods of learning, those whose work on outreach programmes has been simply outstanding, or those who have shown an incredible capacity to connect with, and inspire students to achieve.

All are linked by their commitment to teaching of the highest possible quality.

The Pilkington Teaching Prizes were established in 1994 by businessman and alumnus of Trinity College, Sir Alastair Pilkington. The aim was to ensure that excellence in teaching at the University was given proper recognition.

The prizewinners received their awards from the Vice-Chancellor during a reception at Cripps Court, Magdalene College.

 Dr Julia Davies is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Plant Sciences and joined the department thirteen years ago.

She has shown unwavering dedication to providing exemplary teaching.

Her authoritative lectures in membrane biology, microbiology and plant biology always receive tremendously complimentary feedback and she sets excellent standards of pastoral care with students describing her as "endlessly supportive" and "hugely inspirational".

Julia's vision has modernised undergraduate curriculum content and outreach activities, and rejuvenated plant sciences education at graduate level.

Dr Mark Elliott, of St Catharine’s College, is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, and a gifted and outstanding teacher with a remarkable ability to clarify complex and challenging legal concepts.

Renowned for his friendliness and approachability, he has taken responsibility as Academic Secretary for improving the teaching across the Faculty, introducing new courses and additional learning opportunities for students.

Mark is emerging as a leading public lawyer, and he has recently published a high profile book on the British Constitution, a leading textbook on Administrative Law, and a range of articles in leading law journals.

Dr John Firth, of Wolfson College, is Associate Clinical Dean of the School of Clinical Medicine, and a Consultant Nephrologist whose passion for medical education has inspired generations of medical students.

He plays a major role in educating clinical medical students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has outstanding skills in managing the transition from medical student to junior doctor, along with the development of lifelong learning skills associated with that transition.

John has made major contributions to the development of key learning materials including online learning facilities for the Department of Health, and a leading medical textbook.

Dr Simon Guest of Trinity Hall and the Department of Engineering inspires and enthuses students with new perspectives on subjects that have previously been considered traditional or mature.

He has taught all the major courses in his area with great clarity of both thought and presentation, and students particularly appreciate his tightly integrated lectures and associated notes.

As Chair of the Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Teaching Subject Group, Simon has managed teaching in this area over the last four years.

Thanks to his dedicated contribution to teaching and leadership, the Department is able to offer students courses with a reputation for uncompromising professionalism and excellence.

Dr Richard Harrison, of St Catharine’s College and the Department of Earth Sciences, is a dynamic and stimulating lecturer with a flair for explaining difficult concepts with great clarity.

He has transformed key undergraduate Earth Science courses, using highly innovative ways to make challenging concepts accessible to all students.

In particular, he has developed two and three dimensional animations to guide students through complex ideas in an intuitive and visual way.

Richard is highly regarded and has an excellent rapport with students in all years, inspiring them with his infectious enthusiasm for the subject.

He is also involved in a summer school for GCSE and ‘A’ level students, which captures their imagination and conveys the excitement and relevance of the Earth Sciences.

This is an important eye-opener to potential students interested in the Natural Sciences Tripos, who generally have little exposure to Earth Sciences at school.

Dr Mark Lillicrap, of Robinson College, is Associate Clinical Dean at the School of Clinical Medicine.

He tirelessly promotes clinical excellence to his students and his deep-rooted enthusiasm for medical education has led him to develop pioneering training concepts such as a network of Clinical Skills units within the regional teaching hospitals.

As lead for the Clinical Supervision programme, Mark has instituted a staff development programme for junior doctors, which has been accredited with the Higher Education Academy, resulting in an increased enthusiasm for teaching amongst the junior doctors.

Mark's understanding of the need for medical students to combine academic excellence with the practical, interpersonal and caring skills required of all doctors is exemplary.

He is one of the most popular teachers in the Clinical School, achieving excellent feedback from students and acting as a role model for many of them.  

Dr Simon Moore, of Trinity Hall and the Computer Laboratory, is a dynamic and enthusiastic lecturer, who has transformed the teaching of Computer Science at Cambridge.

Facilitating progression and change, such defining characteristics of our University’s tradition of excellence, Simon coordinated a complete revision of hardware teaching in the Computer Science Tripos, including the rewriting of key courses on notoriously difficult subjects, making them accessible to all students.

He has taken an innovative approach to developing studio-based teaching of practical skills, and designed new hardware to support practical work.

He has successfully negotiated an arrangement with Altera Corporation, in which undergraduates have the opportunity to undertake paid summer internships, through which they gain valuable experience and skills.

Simon has also managed the development of an innovative online training system, and created a course in Advanced Computer Design for a new MPhil in the Department.

Dr Helen Mott, of Gonville and Caius College, is Assistant Director of Research at the Department of Biochemistry.

She devotes tremendous energy and enthusiasm to every aspect of her work, and is an excellent role model for students in the Department.

She has made highly valued contributions to a range of undergraduate teaching situations, including lectures, practical classes and journal clubs.

She recently took a leading role in the successful redevelopment of the practical classes in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology course, and continues to oversee the running of these classes with great efficiency.

She has also contributed to planning the Department's forthcoming new Part II and Part III courses.

Helen has combined all this with a very effective research career, as well as an active role in College teaching.

Professor Simon Schaffer, of Darwin College and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, is a gifted teacher who has an exceptionally broad knowledge of the history of science.

Over 25 years at Cambridge, his lively, clear, and challenging style has brought the teaching of the history and sociology of science alive.

He has an extraordinary ability to connect with his students, and to encourage and inspire them, treating their input with great respect.

He has attracted large numbers of postgraduate students to the Department through his international reputation as a superb teacher.

Simon's energetic approach has enabled him to reach out to audiences within and beyond the University.

He co-authored the hugely influential b
ook, Leviathian and the Airpump, which has become required reading for historians worldwide, and his regular appearances on radio and television shows are testament to his remarkable skills as a communicator.

Most recently he has become principal investigator in a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to produce a history of the Board of Longitude, a project which supports two new doctoral students in our department.

Dr Rob Wallach, of King’s College and the Department of Material Sciences and Metallurgy, has a passion for inspiring young minds and encouraging intellectual development evident in his immense contribution to teaching across the University and beyond.

Enormously popular within the Department, Rob's impact is further felt through his active involvement in many major University and College education committees and programmes.

His passion is also evident in the wide suite of outreach programmes he has initiated, inspiring many thousands of primary and secondary school pupils with the possibilities that materials science holds for an exciting and rewarding career.

Dr Joachim Whaley, of Gonville and Caius College, is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of German and Dutch and has made first-rate contributions to graduate culture, whilst consistently maintaining the very highest standards of undergraduate teaching.

Since his appointment thirty years ago, Joachim has firmly established himself as an incredibly popular teacher in the Department. His lectures are described by students as "engaging, fascinating, inspiring, and passionate", and his last appraisal described his teaching as "stellar".

Joachim has established a distinctive series of History lectures so popular that they attract students who aren't even taking his courses.

He has reshaped the Faculty's Year Abroad possibilities, and considerably expanded the Erasmus scheme from which nearly two thirds of the Faculty's students benefit. 

Dr Hallvard Lillehammer is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy.

He has transformed the teaching of moral philosophy at the Faculty over the last decade at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

He has drawn on his own published research to introduce highly popular lectures in Biomedical Ethics, and has completely revised much of the Ethics syllabus.

As an Undergraduate Co-ordinator, Hallvard has made an outstanding contribution to enhancing the quality of teaching across the Faculty, providing training and support for graduate students and research staff engaged to give discussion groups and college supervisions.

Hallvard has introduced successful initiatives to bridge the gap between teaching and research, by supporting interactions between undergraduates, graduates and research staff in seminars, forums and reading groups. His approach has enabled many of his students to progress into successful research careers in applied philosophy.

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